PanamaTimes

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024

Lula sworn in as Brazil president as predecessor Bolsonaro flies to US

Lula sworn in as Brazil president as predecessor Bolsonaro flies to US

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been sworn in as the new president of Brazil - the third time he has held the country's highest office.

The veteran left-wing politician, known widely as Lula, also led the country between 2003 and 2010 - and defeated Jair Bolsonaro in October's poll.

In his first speech, Lula vowed to rebuild a country in "terrible ruins".

He decried the policies of his predecessor, who went to the US on Friday to avoid the handover ceremony.

A sea of Lula supporters gathered in front of Congress since early in the morning - decked out in the red colour of his Workers' Party. They travelled to see their leader sworn in - but also for a celebration.

More than 60 artists - including Samba legend Martinho da Vila - were booked to perform on two giant stages decorated in the national flag as part of a music festival dubbed "Lulapalooza".

"Love has won over hate," read one banner carried by a man dressed as Lula - complete with a presidential sash.

"Brazil needed this change, this transformation," said another backer of the incoming leader as she queued for Sunday's festivities.

Juliana Barreto - who is from Lula's home state Pernambuco - told the BBC that her country was "a disaster" previously.

Lula and incoming Vice-President Geraldo Alckmin paraded through the city on an open-top convertible before proceeding to the Congress building - where the swearing-in occurred at the start of the formal inauguration ceremony.

The men have spent the past days selecting their cabinet and appointing supporters to key state-owned businesses.

Shortly after being sworn in, Lula sought to instil a sense of hope in the people of Brazil and promised to "rebuild the nation and make a Brazil of all, for all".

There were several instances when he got out his hanky. His most emotional moment came when speaking to the Brazilian people after the swearing-in ceremony - he started sobbing when talking about those who beg at traffic lights, desperate for food.

Probably not even Lula thought this day would ever come - a return to the top job after two decades, despite a spell in prison after being convicted of corruption. The convictions were subsequently annulled in 2021.

Much of his speech to Congress was about unity and reconstruction. The two words are crucial in such a deeply divided country, hit hard by the pandemic and hugely polarised politically.

Lula knows that his ultimate challenge will be to convince those who feel he is a corrupt politician who belongs in jail that he does now belong in the presidential palace again and can be their leader too.

He pledged to undo the legacy of his predecessor's government, which he said involved depleting funding for education, health and the conservation of the Amazon rainforest.

To huge cheers from those watching in Congress, he also promised to revoke Mr Bolsonaro's controversial gun laws immediately.

Lula went on to state that his government would not be motivated by "a spirit of revenge", but that those who had made mistakes would answer for their errors.

In particular, he singled out Mr Bolsonaro's Covid-19 policies, accusing him of causing a "genocide" of deaths in Brazil during the pandemic, which would need to be fully investigated.

In another noted change of policy from the Bolsonaro administration, Marina Silva - one of Brazil's best known climate activists - was re-appointed to head the environment and climate ministry. She will be expected to achieve Lula's pledge - which was repeated during his speech - to reach "zero deforestation" in the Amazon by 2030.

The atmosphere in Brasilia couldn't be more different than when Mr Bolsonaro was in power. Lots of people were waving banners or wearing T-shirts with the words "Love conquers hate," a reference to the narrative many felt came from Mr Bolsonaro.

But diversity and inclusion too was a big part of today's inauguration. With Mr Bolsonaro abandoning his final official duty of passing on the presidential sash, it was left to Eni Souza, a rubbish picker, to do the honours. And standing next to Lula was an indigenous leader, a black boy and a disabled influencer. In this country where racism is all too common, it was an important image that will endure.



The state of Brasilia deployed "100%" of its police force - around 8,000 officers - to the city amid fears that some supporters of Mr Bolsonaro could seek to disrupt proceedings.

One man was arrested trying to enter the area of the inauguration carrying a knife and fireworks earlier on Sunday, Brazil's military police said.

Last week, authorities arrested a supporter of Mr Bolsonaro who had allegedly placed explosives on a fuel truck near an airport in the capital on Christmas Eve. The man said he hoped to "sow chaos" ahead of Lula's inauguration.

And other supporters of the former leader have remained camped outside army headquarters, where they have been urging the army to launch a coup. Police attempted to remove the demonstrators on Thursday, but withdrew after they reacted violently.

However, Mr Bolsonaro has condemned the protests against his defeat, urging his supporters to "show we are different from the other side, that we respect the norms and the Constitution".


Watch: Crowds celebrate in Brazil as Lula is sworn in as president

Lula broke down in tears as he talked about poverty in his country


Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police
×